South Africa’s government assures citizens of free 10GB data monthly

Data struggles may become a thing of the past for all South African households, according to Ntshavheni.
During her State of The Nation Address (SONA) speech on Thursday 10 February last week, Communications Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni promised that every South African household will soon be getting 10GB of free data.
In her SONA speech, Ntshavheni compared data to other basic needs such as water and electricity – which is why the government has decided to give each household 10GB a month – regardless of the family’s financial background.

“Data has become a new utility like water and electricity that our home needs,” she said.

“At some point, SA households — despite whether you are rich or poor, whether you are employed or unemployed — will have access to 10GB per month without failure because that’s what this government will deliver.”

According to the minister, data – which has become a basic need – will be provided to both the rich and the poor. Here’s how it will work…
TimesLIVE reports that indigent households currently qualify for a free 6,000 litres of water, free 50kWh of electricity, and free sewerage and sanitation.
Ntshavheni did not, however, reveal when the data rollout will take place.
During her speech, Ntshavheni also said that the emergency release of the Independent Communications Authority of SA’s (Icasa) spectrum will mean that data costs and voice communication costs will be reduced.

“This spectrum is expected to unlock economic transformation not only for the telecommunications sector but to service other industries such as mining, agriculture, and manufacturing.

According to Ntshavheni, a total of six networks, namely Cell C, MTN, Vodacom and Telkom will be bidding for the spectrum and will be required to provide connectivity to more than 18,000 schools, 5,000 clinics and hospitals, and over 8,000 offices of traditional leaders or traditional authorities that hold certificates of recognition.

“The extension of broadband to traditional authorities is part of government’s commitment to strengthen the role of traditional leaders as service delivery centres of government,” said Ntshavheni.

“In the past, we have seen the telecommunications operators ignoring social obligations and opting to pay negligible penalties instead of connecting our people.

“This time, Icasa will include the fulfilment of service obligations as part of the licensing conditions without an option of a penalty,” she said.